Skip to main content

tv   Charlie Rose  WHUT  March 12, 2010 9:00am-10:00am EST

9:00 am
welcome to the broadcast, we begin this evening with tina brown, she is the cofounder and editor in chief of the daily beast. and he is a host of a conference in new york this weekend called women in the world. >> it is incredible to me how many powerful stories there are of women who have gone out there and toiled in the field and have actually read recently stuff about hoffa sky and you have seen great journalism being done by amanpour. and speaking out from the state department, will is a kind of critical mass that is growing where people are coming together to say, women are essential for the new equation of prosperity and peace in the world and this seems like the time to really help with the momentum. >> charlie: and we conclude with gina bianchini she is ceo of a social networking site
9:01 am
ning. >> the area that we focussed in on for ning pretty much from dae one was how do we enable people to create and participate in rich immersive social experiences for the things they really care about. and with -- what is so fascinating today and i think we are right at the beginning of it, this is what people do. they have their friends in the real world and their family. they have their professional identity, they have a a desire for what is next in a real time way. and then they want to express their interest and passion it is things that truly matter to them and meet new people. >> charlie: the daily beast, and ning. coming up. >> funding for charlie rose has been provided by the following. >> ♪ if you've had a coke in the last 20 years,
9:02 am
( screams ) you've had a hand in giving college scholarships... and support to thousands of our nation's... most promising students. ♪ ( coca-cola 5-note mnemonic ) captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> charlie: tina brown is here, she is cofounder and editor in chief of the daily beast. along with i mix of news and culture, tina brown pledged her commitment to covering stories about the impossible lives of women in countries around the
9:03 am
world. now the daily beast is producing the first annual women in the world summit, the three-day event will take place in new york city, it will feature prominent women from the world of politics, media, social activism, business and the arts. i am pleased to have tina brown here at this table to talk about this summit about the daily beast, and her opinions on what is going on here and around the world in politics and culture. welcome. >> great to be here, charlie. >> charlie: tell me about this summit. >> this summit is something we put together because we want to showcase women of counsel, women of spirit, women of real passion. who are really moving the needle around the world. it is incredible to me how many powerful stories there are of women who have just gone out there and toiled in the field and have actually written some recently stuff recently about sherwood dunn half sky and amanpour, with harriet clinton speaking out from the state department a critical matt is
9:04 am
growing where people are coming together that women are essential for new equation of prosperity and peace in the world and this seems like the time to really hope with the momentum. >> charlie: all right. so what we get out of this, the documented stories and opinions and judgments of a whole range of women, including whom? >> yes. we have an incredible lineup of women and what we ride to do is bring in an extraordinary leaders in women, such as hillary clinton, queen rani, madeleine albright, jarrett from the united states and bring in these. >> charlie: from the white house. >> from the white house. focal point women who can tually eliminate these issues but at the same time also mixed wit these incredible unknown heroines from all over the whoever like christian wh who hd the project where she rescues girls who have been sexually trafficked and rehabilitated them, bhutto, the niece of ben is a, ben sir or adan, from
9:05 am
somaliland that has done brilliantly about rescuing women who are having terrible problems with their maternal, get, giving birth to kids and what she has done which is really incredible, she has actually gone around the fact men in her country have to sign off on forms which allow their wives to have se sarah palins so she got around this because the men weren't signing the forms and they were refusing to sign the forms and the women are bleeding to death in childbirth, so she had this cunning way of dealing wit, she would come in and say look you won't sign the form okay that's fine, now u must sign this other form which says your wife will bleed to death is that okay with you and have a corpse standing there and no, no we don't want our wives to bleed to death, then sign this form. >> so this is a status report of women looking at all of the successes of women in political positions and cultural positions and also a look at where women are being abused around the world. >> we have the documentary journalism piece of it, such as range rape in the congo, such as sexual trafficking, human
9:06 am
slavery and the lady who is ambassador to end human slavery and talking about the really concrete things you can do to end what is actually an epidemic of human slavery at this time. and it is an epidemic because of globalism, because of the internet, because of the fact that it is so much easier today with transportation, all of those things we feel that are good about modern society can actually be used for evil in the trafficking, the easy trafficking of girls, and boys, of course, too, but in this instance, is we are really dealing with girls. >> charlie: you know it is amazing to me it seems like in in this century this thing finally gained a kind of traction, the idea of women in a broader way than just a women's movement. >> we have 300 women coming and every one of them should be on stage because they are so quiet about the stuff they do, it is incredible women, i don't know whether you met her, but, molly, but she is incredible and been campaigning for the end of genital cutting and this incredibly sort of quiet sort of
9:07 am
ordinary seeming american woman who has for the last 30 or 40 years been working on the front tears with to use her powers of persuasion and assiduous cultural networking to work on the men in these countries to actually talk to the immans and really try to use rationality and cleverness and networking and all of the things they have done to surround the problem, and try to work on the forces that are there culturally and has incredible success. >> charlie: now, what is the tie in with the daily beast, what are you going to do with the consequences of all of this dialogue and discussion. >> on the daily beast we are going to obviously cover the sites thughout, we have a whole web page, with him the world page that is going to be laid out what is happening and which is going to be updated throughout the conference and live stream the video of all of the conference, except for the opening night play which i will tell you about in just a second. and it is all going to be up with our social networking on the site. friday night we have an extraordinary event because we are doing a one night reading of a play that was actually
9:08 am
produced about the women in the vital voices network, it has been written by seven play rights and gives seven stories of women from around the world that are activists and leaders and gina the great broadway director to direct it and we have cast merrill streep and marsha gay hardin and an incredible line of tarz to read this play for this one night special reading and we are delighted the secretary of state is coming to introduce it because she knows all of these women. so it is going to be a very special opening night. >> charlie: what are the issues for women in a broader way in -- at this time in our lives? >> i think for women, the great issue is education, it is being allowed to be educated, because so much of the problem obviously begins with the fact that they are kept away from being educated, and they are not allowed to go to school, they are made to marry as child brides and made to have the genital cutting and marry immediately, and a third class citizen, and a beast of burden, it is all about liberating them from their own imposed ignorance
9:09 am
upon them so that they can go ahead and earn their living and get away from this terrible cycle of repression and ignorance in a sense, but, you know, so much of the world is about keeping women down, because in a way, women are so strong that when they are howd the power of knowledge, when they are allowed to be educated, they just blow people away, i mean you see this again and 15 with these social entrepreneurs, if you actually empower them to be able to have a little business, suddenly they are just, you know, owning it all. so it is a very exciting thing. >> are any men going to be at this conference? >> funny you should mention this. >> charlie: where are men in this conversation? >> there are men. >> don't forget us. >>ly not forget you, we have debacca this incredible figure who was frankly one of my heroes, and he is just such an iincredibly powerful leader and champion of women, tom friedman is doing an interview with our
9:10 am
french finance minister, and basically this is men are coming when they are interested. >> charlie: so men c come? >> i really want to be there. there is. but they are not obliged to be there because there is something about a dynamic that happens when there are a lot of women in the room together. >> when we talk about women in power a lot of people look back and well, gee, there was margaret thatcher, there was in india, andira gandhi and look at them. >> and merkel. >> today. >> yes. >> chancellor of germany. >> indeed. we have her. >> we have women leaders and haven't had one this the united states yet, which i don't know when it will happen. we should -- >> you think it was setback by the race that was made in 2008? >> you know, i don't think that great leaders are manufactured often, so for someone to get through the whole net of difficulty to become the
9:11 am
president of the united states, as we know, it is one of the most -- it is probably the most daunting thing you can do. it is very hard to generate that kind of network for a woman, i would think it is harder than for men. >> hillary clinton had the network going in. >> she certainly had the network and she came close. >> >> yes and she ran -- >> she ran at a time there was a history taking place with another candidate. >> charlie:. >> yes. >> charlie: which mean if she ran in 2004. >> for hillary it was tragic for her issues which was her exceptionalism was in a sense stolen by obama's exceptionalism. >> charlie: exactly. >> black president trumped first woman president in terms of the exceptionalism in politics so actually another era she would have been able to promote that angle and make it, but, you know, with obama there, his story was better. >> charlie: let me go to you as a woman who has been very successful at different kind of things. you have had ups and downs. you came out with this blazing
9:12 am
career out of london as a young reporter, this great story where he calls up your house because they have been admiring your writing. roll the tape. >> i enjoyed meeting tina brown when she was so much younger. >> charlie: let's talk about that. how did that start? she was working for you or -- >> no, no, no, no. she went to oxford when she was 16, and an agent, famous literary agent who died fairly recently, sent me some clippings and sa you should read these, by this woman, they are in the news state men and private eye and i didn't read them, another sign of my neglect, i was too busy with other things. and i read them. >> charlie: the diaries and everything. >> yes i read them one more or morning and got so alarmed and i was so alarmed i let this linger in my briefcase so i called up, i called the number and i said, could i speak to tina brown? speaking. she said. oh, i said, would you come to the office and see mr. jack,
9:13 am
because we are very impressed with your articles and would you come in today? >> i'm sorry. i can't come in today i am giving dinner to my husband. i thought, husband? >> he is only 20, how precocious can you be? >> are you tina brown, yes, i said are you tina brown that just graduated from oxford, oh, no that is my daughter. >> then of course when she came in, and she was commissioned and she came to america, and she met sj perelman and met theodore white and all of these people and wrote marvelous articles for the sunday times and then when i nell love with her. >> charlie: you were ed for of the sunday times and -- >> as soon as i fell in love with her, he is an amazing thing. and she resigned from the paper. she says i cannot possibly -- i can see what is happening here and i am cutting myself off from you and your newspaper and she did. >> charliewhat is it that keeps the magic of a relationship? >> it is the same. in most good marriages there is a magic something and if you try
9:14 am
and bottle it, you can't. >> charlie: can you add to that, my dear? >> he is such a wonderful man to be married to, it is so easy being married to h. we have so much in common, it is unbelievable. every morning now the great thing abou about the beast deadn and the headlines and all the rest, is i get up very early, i get on the beast, i have my input, and then harry and guy for breakfast, at the little diner and we take the old low-tech newspapers with us, and we read the papers and we jt talk to each other constantly. >> charlie: can you believe this? >> can you believe this? oh, my god, it is like we are sort of tweeting at each other. >> charlie: so he is still a partner in your journalism. >> absolutely and we just share so much in common. >> all right. how many kids. >> two kids. >> two kids. and about college age. >> yes isabel is 19 and going to harvard and george our son is doing wonderfully well and lives lives on the cape and a happy camper. >> you decide to create the daily beast how did you decide,
9:15 am
why did you decide and what is it? >> well, first of all, i didn't want to start an on line news site, until barry diller came to me. >> charlie: he came if you. >> he came to me and said i want to start this new on line site which will have a great sensibility and take the news, the culture and funnel it through a sensibility because there is too much going on, i am overwhelmed i don't want to read anymore, i want to be told by somebody that i trust. so i thought well there is no room for that. this is not what i do. i am a print person, i love narrative journalism, i love photographs, i am not going to like doing this. but came back to me after i wrote my book and said i will wait, yeah you will wait, well he did wait, being barry and his wonderful long vision of his and he came back and said you finished your book i know you have, come and to this thing. i said i will give it a few weeks, few months, try something, barry, if you like it, great, if you don't, doesn't matter. it will be fun. so we did, i did what, with a
9:16 am
design her we figured out some formats and i started to play and i started to think what it could be and of course i became absolutely in love with this whole new immediate united states o issuch a vibrant mediud how exciting it is to work in video and to work in instant reaction and to be able to make a site that was visually very appealing, and also did news and culture in ways that had a far more shall we say kind of aesthetic way, exciting way of combining literary journalism and news and do this on line which i hadn't thought of before so it was trying to bring i guess a magazine sensibility of look if you like, to the moving instant cul -- instant buzz of news and mixing it all together in something that would have a high, low energy which is what i do, what i did do in magazine. >> is your core skill writing or editing? >> well, i have a passion for both but i think i have a skill
9:17 am
for pulling out of the culture if you like the thing that is what people are truly interested in, you know, it is about this person, why? what? this thing that is happening out there, this thing not that thing. i guess it is about looking at that, feeling the zeitgeist and responding you know as a bit of a kind of try break tuning fork or something to what is in the air. >> charlie: but you have had that for a while, back when you were a writer and reporter in london, did you not? >> i think i always have had an ability to feel what is interesting or what is about to be interesting, and it is a question of how you put it down with a point of view, i think a point of rieu is very, very important, we are all swamped with data, we are all swamped with visual information. >> charlie: so a point of view and edge. >> point of view and edge, that is the point of view to go for, rather than going for the pack point of view and i think think a lot stems from curiosity i think sometimes journalism is
9:18 am
boring, because everybody is asking the same questions. this is what -- why it does what it does because you ask questions other people haven't asked and you get a different answer. the same thing when you look at the news. when i watched the oscars all i wanted to know about who is jeff bridge's wife? i mean, she looks -- >> charlie: i did too. >> i thought she looked really interesting. and they said nothing about her. >> charlie: and you believe every word he said about her when he said i wouldn't be here without her? >> absolutely. and i really wanted to know. >> charlie: and you looked at her and said. >> who is she? >> how is the daily beast different from say, huffington post? >> well the beast is 70 percent original journalism, so it is only a little bit of -- >> you are not aggregating that much. >> no, only doing a central spine of today's must reads which as we call the cheat sheet down the middle and the re is original journalism and it is what i call polly partisan it is not through a liberal lens it is
9:19 am
very much left, right, middle, it is a free-for-all on the daily beast and we really want to adhere to that because actually i think it is more interesting to not know the point of view that manager is coming out of the gate. >> charlie: this is something you have done, and it brings lots of question for me. each months you recommend the best things you have read lately on morning edition you call i word of mouth you recommended the following, new york magazine profile of rupert murdoch by gabriel sherman why do that. >> a fascinating piece that took us right through the murdoch dynasty wars if you like and how the young generation is coming down breathing down rupert's neck but he is fighting more battles than he ever fought, fighting google to get paid -- >> charlie: stealing his content. >> stealing his content and of course he has taken on the new york times with the wall street journal in kind of an old-fashioned bloody newspaper war. >> charlie: which he loves and relishes. >> well he absolutely adores and there is something very endearing, frankly about his willingness to do battle with.
9:20 am
>> at 79. >> at 79, absolutely. >> charlie: so what about this issue of newspapers in the -- and the future of newspapers? >> well, i have a complete newspaper junky and married to harold in evans we both have newspapers running through our lives in every conceivable way. he is the ultimate newspaperman. i think it is moving -- >> charlie: ink is in your blood. >> ink is in our blood but i do think that news obviously is moving totally on line. i think that we should not be hung up on the form that that news is in. >> charlie: whether it is delivered electronically or in print. >> much or to the point is whether we can conserve journalism as we know it, in my paper chase which is about investigative journalism and big long thoughtful things that have moved the needle, are we going to allows those kind of pieces? and that is obviously the concern, because it is costly, and that model is very hard to sustain as the economics of the
9:21 am
business are on line at the moment. so that is obviously what concerns us, hot so much whether or not the physical newspaper will survive. >> charlie: the smart people i know believe that it is no longer going to be free. >> that is the great question it is possible it is going to be very much the cable and network model, whereby people will pay for premium con democratic just as they did, you know, for hbo and for espn and all of the things people have on cable or is the free model is it simply going to decimate the landscape to the point that there won't be the same competition for dollars, and in the end, there will be enough dollars in on line advertising, weeally don't know. >> charlie: you also talk about new york must reads this month, i didn't son epstein makes two compelling arguments in his piece that the whole fragility of life on line is such with one terrible sabotage you could wipe out the whole of our cultura civilization, most importantly it talks about the fragility of copyright and how we have to preserve this, ware going to impossessish writers. >> uh-huh.
9:22 am
>> charlie: you like that because jason epstein is looking at the digitation of books and everything else .. >> he is a wonderful editor and plate writer actually too and he is raising the point we are confronting all the time in our profession. i mean, he said writer and editor we do pay for content on the daily beast but it is certainly not the -- >> you don't get rich on what we pay. so are we building this new sort of flat culture frankly of impoverished living in garrison writers because writers can hardly make a living right now because they don't get paid. the same is true of songwriters and the same is true of so many artists today we are actually relegating great people to not being able to make a living. >> charlie: so how are we going to change that? >> well i think we haven't figured it out and ithink what we are right now is in a fehr still moment of absolute re-alignment, i meanhere is kind of a volcanic shift that is happening in the landscape --
9:23 am
landscape and it is painful for artists and writers at the moment they feel absolutely beached and/or fanned i think we are going to emerge from that and, in fact, there is a golden future, but, in fact we will figure out these business models and actually there is an ever stress sentf immediate for content and real good material to see feed all of these multichannels but the corporate world talks about content and product but we are talking about the labors of creativity. >> charlie: and we are talking about stories. >> we are talking about great tv shows and we are talking about excellent writing and wonderful books and it can't be produced unless people are paying for it. >> the fact that digitation can put so much stuff in your hands. >> it is wonderful .. >> immediately. >> that is what i find exciting and what i love about the daily beast is that we can really put writers into the debate very quickly. >> charlie: yes. >> a writer like former
9:24 am
president of foreign relations. >> charlie: former state, former state official. >> an op ed kind of guy. >> charlie: wrote this terrible thing amount rahm emanuel and it is very exciting for writers, because the kind of piece that might have appeared before, in a small literary magazine or, you know, a gray bard, you know, academic journal, will appear on the daily beast, and all hell breaks loose. >> charlie: so what do you think of the rahm emanuel story today, first there is mill bank and then mill bank and then david broder and peter baker has a huge story in the new york times magazine this weekend. >> i know. well i happen to think that rahm emanuel is really fighting back, right? >> charlie: i don't know if he is doing that or not. i don't know. >> i have to say. >> charlie: i don't think it is in his interests. >> wrong the president wants to read his chief of staff beliefs this or that about what was done. >> of course that is more
9:25 am
fueling, is someone on his way out, if they are allowing it to be said i told you so-so that is a great question. but i think that the staff can be to be blame but i think quite honestly presidents create their own dynamic, and what they get is also what they ask for. you know, i don't think you can ever blame the people around the president so much for the things that the president projects that he wants. it is a co cop-out, it is lookig at the leader in a naive or openly, overly forgiving way. >> the reason that obama has had the problems he had is because he is so bad at communicating that he doesn't really believe a word that he is saying. >> well, what i meant was. >> charlie: he doesn't believe a word he is saying. >> i wrote that actually about a specific speak which was the afghanistan troop speech. >> charlie: the wespoint speech.
9:26 am
>> the west point speech where i felt he had frankly passed everything out to such parsed everything out to such a degree of new answered new answered meaning knew answered mean .. and we didn't know what he was saying because after the speech people wrote mystified. >> people like secretary of defense went up on to the hill and had to testify about it and say, well, no, things will be influenced not by specific date but uh b by conditions on the ground they had to modify what the president said in his speech. >> and one of the things i found so fascinating about obama is this leader who was such a brilliant communicator himself in the campaign in the sense he had an absolute connect with the mood of the electorate, and the way -- >> charlie: more speeches than in debate. >> yes but that he was great about sort of angling it to the exact right mood at the time and having the exact right word in those speeches to nnect with
9:27 am
what we all wanted to say. somehow since it is almost as if he can't seen to communicate. he can't seem to say cheerily what he means. >> charlie: or explaining what he is doing. or explain what he is doing which is actually more important, because i never have felt until just these last days what obama really wanted to get done with healthcare. i think people walke around saying what does he really want because we want to kind of follow him, but they weren't allowing us, he wasn't allowing us -- >> charlie: it wasn't even his bill. >> that is mystifying to me. i think it is one of the great fascinating questions right now of how that happened. >> you also say that he has more of a writers temp ar temperamena politician's temperament. >> i do feel that, yes, because i think that obama, what is appealing about him as a writer and as a third, i think he has an incredible poison th page, and an amazing masterly discipline in his voice, in his writing, he is a guy who wants
9:28 am
to cogitate long and hard, come to -- >> charlie: cogitate long and hard. >> and make je judicious decisis which he offers a lot of testing of ideas, all of these things are an intellectual pursuit that is really more about being a writer or a teacher or a moral leader of some kind on a page, but it isn't very attuned if you like t to the cut and thrust of the dirty fight of politics. but still in the campaign he was very good at that. he was a smart tactician in the campaign, and maybe it is the huge forces of government and the agonizing rush in and all of the things that just makes him unable to be his best self in this particular role. >> charlie: michelle obama, what do you think of her and why isn't she at your summit? >> i would love her to be at the summit. maybe next year. i think they have kept her in too much of a good difficult good difficult route. i mean -- >> charlie: why don't we see that in the daily beast, tina brown writes a new column, let
9:29 am
chelle be michelle. >> yes. >> let michelle -- there is your headline right there. >> thank you very much, charlie. i will try that for next week. >> charlie: so in other words she could play a much different role than she is playing? >> i think now she has to be let out of her box. there are too many designer frocks, too many pictures of her jumping about with kids, i mean, obesity issue is a very important one but i think it is all being too -- i prefer michelle when she is gritty and roar, and a, raw, a powerful woman, we need to see more of that. >> because that is what you like about yourself. >> i think we just want to see the real michelle, i think oddly must have they had to restrain her because the public had a sense she was too strong and she kind of right tend -- >> charlie: the campaign thing was there. >> charlie: about america being proud. tina brown, thank you so much, great seeing you. >> thank you. >> charlie: the summit is. >> women in the world, stories and solutions. >> charlie: and it will be
9:30 am
>> friday, march the 12th, saturday the 13th and sunday the 1,414th. >> charlie: a three-day big deal? >> a three-day weekend, yes. >> charlie: thank you. >> thank you. >> charlie: gina bianchini is here and he is ceo of the social networking site ning. she and netscape founder mark started ning in 2004, it allows you to those with shared interest to connect and has over 40 million registered members worldwide on 2 million ning networks i am pleased to have her on this show for the very first time. welcome. >> thank you for having me. >> you represent to me one profile of the population of silicon valley. >> i grew up in cooper at this know. >> charlie: undergraduate stanford. >> yes. >> went to work in the valley. >> yes. >> when you started, july 4th a lot of people in the office. >> it was not seen as a career
9:31 am
advancing move to work in the technology industry in mean '94. >> charlie: you were an analyst. >> i was. >> charlie: and then you and mark came together to start this company? >> yes. >> what is your passion for this? >> fundamentally, enabling people to live a richer life in all facets of what they want to do. so if you look at what we do at ning, we are a social platform for interest and passion. >> charlie: right. >> so if you look at the landscape of social at th techn, you have facebook, which is great for connecting you to people that you already know, the people that you went to high school with, the people you went to college with, your extended family, that probably live all over the world today. twitter is amazing for news and real time events, it is this constant stream of information, and links off to new and interesting things you wouldn't
9:32 am
discover otherwise. and linked in has really done a fantastic job of professional identity, the area we focused in for ning pretty much from day one, was how do we enable people to create and participate in rich, immersive social experiences for the things that they truly care about? and what is so fascinating today and i think we are just right at the beginning of it, this is what people do. they have their friends in the real world and their family, they have their professional identity, they have a desire for what is next in a real time way. and then they want to express their interests and passions to things that truly matter for them and meet new people. >> charlie: tick off some of those kind of interest groups that exist on ning. >> yesterday alone, we checked this right before we came on. we had ning networks that were created for humboldt county surfers, for u.s. rowing, for
9:33 am
milwaukee's best, whi was for restaurant reviews and events and nightlife, and as far as we can tell, a ning network that the bolivian government was creating for bolivian history. and i think that just represents in one small snapshot just how interesting people are, how many different things that make us who we are and make us unique in this world. >> charlie: what is the largest of them all? >> well it is interesting, i would say we have probably about ten or 20 ning net works that are just pushing out towards 800,000 or a million registered members. >> charlie: what is an example of that. >> an example of that would be the pick kins plan, which is. the boone pickens. >> charlie: for windmills. >> wind energy. >> and nas gal -- and natural gas. >> exactly. and that is just for the organizers, so what. the boone pickens and his teeth
9:34 am
did is created a presence .. or a facebook fan page and a twitter stream, they have a youtube channel, they had a traditional media or radio, television, blitz, and what they did is they actually pushed people into a ning net work, the pickens plan.com to organize the organizers, so they basically found who were the people that were most passionate about wind energy, and organized them by congressional district, and within six months they were actually able to create in person meetings with members, 91 percent of congress, in terms of their offices, by congressional district. >> charlie: how do you go about forming a ning network? >> the most important thing to creating a successful, thriving ning network. >> is? >> is a hook. is something that when somebody gets to the ning network they know immediately what it is about, why they should be there, and probably more importantly, who shouldn't be there.
9:35 am
so i will give you an example. there is a ning net work that was created by a writer here in new york cy, named tammy wycomm and sh she has for six ys with another writer named diane middle brook and she had new york women's salon for writers and would attract a couple hundred people to it. they and she launched it as a ning network and she writes, so she writes is a ning network they thought they would get a few hundred people, basically their dream of something that was working andeally important to them in their real lives, within a week they had 1,000 members. today they have 7,000 women writers from new york times best selling authors to aspiring bloggers. >> charlie: and what do they share? >> they share support, sh they share critiques of their writing, tips and tricks and
9:36 am
really how to actually navigate what is a fundamentally changing world of publishing. and they are doing it in a way that is really deep and immersive and authentic. and so they have women across all 50 states, and over 3 30 countries, so getting that kind of global writers salon where it used to be something that was limited to new york city or limited to what was happening in one ge geographic location, now these ideas and this support is spreading all across the world. >> charlie: but ning is not the only place you can go to create your own network? >> well, it is the only place that you can go and by par the largest place you can go to create a rich immersive social experience. >> charlie: a rich immersive social experience. >> yes for example you could have, for she writes, you could have a facebook n page, you could have your twitter stream,
9:37 am
but that is basically like saying building a house for habitat for humanity is like donating a dollar at the grocery store for a cause. it is really about there are places and times to start the conversation and facebook is fantastic for that, twitter is fantastic for that. but there is also the immediate and the desire for people to raise their hand and say, i want to meet other women writers, and i want to meet other women writers who are dealing with the same things i am dealing with in a fund meantly changing publishing world. and that type of connection, where there is a shared identity and a desire to dive deeper, there is a need for that too. now the good news is that it can absolutely all of those things coexist. just like we as individuals have all of these different facets of our personality. >> charlie: who is your competition? >> well, i think that is a very interesting question, because what we are taught this business
9:38 am
is to say, you know, there is absolutely a horse race in terms of this company versus this company, coke versus pepsi. something very different and something very interesting is happening in socl technologies, you are actually seeing that people want to do different things on different servicesas i was saying before, so you really do have, you know, in the example of facebook, a global phenomenon of the single place where people want to go to connect with people they already know. facebook doesn't have a number too but it is actually very different than linked in where people very clearly want to have and share professional. >> charlie: better jobs. >> exactly. now two years ago, it wasn't necessarily clear whether people wanted to just be on one single place alone. and what people are doing in terms of, you know, voting with their time and voting with thr membership is they are saying, we actually want to be in different places for different
9:39 am
things. now, what is interesting is none of these companies, whether it is us or interest or passions or linked in for professional identity, whether it is twitter for news and real time events or whether it is facebook, do they have actual competition for what it is they do. so our competition at the end of the day is actually just simply for people's time. so if we actually have a service where people can express their interest and passions in a way that encourages them and motivates them to spend more time in those rich immersive experiences then we win. >> charlie: that is your competitive advantage? >> well, i think when you get to a certain size in social technologies at a certain point it is very hard to catch up to the leader, so all of the companies i mentioned were actually started around the same time. we were a little langer that facebook or linked in, twitter is a little later than us.
9:40 am
but what i think is actually the really important thing is people are voting with their time and with their decision to much like they do in the realorld, separate out their social identity into different places for different reasons. >> charlie: and the business model is an advertising model? >> it is an advertising model. it also -- we offer premium services or ways for our network creators, the people who are organizing ning networks and creating those hinge networks and i didn't answer your question about that, by the way which is you can create a ning network in about 30 seconds. >> charlie: by going to your web site or what do you do. >> you go to ning.com and decide what your ning network to be about and you choose its features and choose its design and boom you are off to the races something that used to take a couple of engineers and a few servers to do. >> what is a double viral loop? >> a double viral loop is first the virile at this that happens
9:41 am
within a ming met work, so i invite you into a ning network for powder skier, i don't know if you would join. >> charlie: invite me in or can i come in on your own. >> you can come in on your own. the vast majority of people joining ning networks through invitation. >> charlie: right. >> or discovering it. >> charlie: somebody knows somebody's interest in it and say why don't you voin the network because we would benefit from our presence and vice versa. >> right and friends invite friends and before you know it three stems out actually get to meet each other and form new relationships around in the case of powder, church, powder skiing, eastern washington, so that is actually people are so interesting, i love it. so that is actually a single viral loom, so that is one service, one application that grows because of individuals inviting new individuals inviting new individuals in. well, on ning we also have a second order, and the second order is people then feeling
9:42 am
offer to create a new ning network, and so typically that we find is someone is invited in to powder church again, this ning net work for powder skiers in eastern washington, and one of them may be a teacher and they might actually be a teacher of freshmen in high school and think, hey you know what i could actually use this concept of a ning network to teach world history to my freshmen class. so they will peel off, create another ning network in 30 seconds. >> charlie: the double viral loop. >> and basically we have a whole new explosion in terms of hopefully what will be those 30 kid in that class or 90 kids across three classes. >> this is what i want to do now. thousand but know what you do and put out twitter and facebook, what is wrong with myspace? it was like the most extraordinary success, for a while. >> uh-huh. charlie: and now -- what is going on? >> well, i think they are doing a fantastic job in terms of
9:43 am
really finding their essence. now what i will say is -- >> charlie:. >> finding what? >> finding their essence. >> charlie: oh, i see going through an identity crisis. >> absolutely. absolutely. >> charlie: and has ning gone through an identity crisis? >> no we have been very fortunate and for a very specific reason which is when you create a highly flexible platform for people, with the assumption and the expectation that people will produce social experiences that you have no idea what they can possibly be, when you set out to create it, that actually is what makes our job fun and interesting. >> charlie: what do you think of the op ed? >> it is going to be a big thing. >> charlie: all of to the applications will apply and you can see a tablet, a little smaller than this? >> i am really interested to use it on my couch to see if it replaces. >> charlie: your pc? >> pc experience. >> charlie: exactly. >> or potentially even the television. >> charlie: not only do you have this very successful
9:44 am
company called ning which i don't know what its valuation is, it is a bit like twitter it hadn't gone public but they can evaluate it because he know what people pay for a certain percentage of it do we have any sense of what the valuation is of ning? >> the current valuation of ning is $765 million. >> charlie: 765? is it public? >> it is not a public company. >> charlie: i didn't think so but it is valued at $765 million. will the advertising model? how figure out a model to realize the cash potential of social networking? >> absolutely. >> charlie: what is it going to take? >> so looking at the whole context and through the macro picture. when you look at the history of any new medium and the good news is we have plenty of examples of this, when you move from radio to television, when we moved from aol to the web, even, and in each of these transformations, in each of these transformations it took
9:45 am
about 15 years for people to really understand what was the native experience, and the native behavior of that medium. so it wasn't for 15 years until it became pretty obvious that television could be used for more than taping people talking on a radio show. up until that point -- >> charlie: so your point is social networking will find their profit model? >> well, if you look at the fundamental, behavior behind the internet, it is people connecting to other people. >> charlie: right. >> if you look at the first generation of web companies, the ones that were created may at thisly were natively were craigslist, ebay. >> charlie: do you believe social networks will eat into the economic .. viability of search engines? >> because social networks provide you with a kind of informed search among people you
9:46 am
know and you understand their information base? >> what i believe is that as people spend more and more of their time, more and more of their wakes hours in social -- and on social technologies, i think that everything else will adapt. now, i certainly don't have a crystal ball and i think it is very early, so i can't tell you if, you know, social technologies broadly are going to replace search engines as we know them. i don't know. and i don't have that answer. but what i do know and i do believe very strongly is that when you look at what is happening in these early, early days around people spending real significant money in the farm belt on facebook, farmville on facebook, when you can raise the kind of money that has been raised in hours and days -- >> >> being the brainchild of mark
9:47 am
pinkus. >> when you look at how much money the obama was being able to raise by small dollar amounts across hundreds of thousands and millions of people in months, not years, it is all the same behavior. it is all people expressing through their pocketbooks and through their time and through their energy and their passion the things that they care about. and they are doing it in social technologies and are enabled by social technologies, so do i believe that social platforms, whether it is face become or twitter or ning or linked in or whether it is youtube are going to fundamentally change economic models, social models or even political models? absolutely. i don't think there is any question of that. >> charlie: and the essential reason for that is? >> the essential reason for that is, i think what they want to do is they want to live their -- the best, most rich version of
9:48 am
their lives by staying in touch with people that they already know but who live hundreds of thousands of miles away. or be able to keep up with what is going on in near real time, because they are following the people they care about on twitter. and, yes, i do believe that they want to meet and get to know people who share the same interests and passions that they do, towards a common goal and hopefully that goal is impact. so if you know that sitting on your couch in your pajamas, you can actually change the world, whether it is by giving $10 to haiti through your mobile phone. >> charlie: right. >> or whether it is signing a petition for wind energy, or whether it is connecting with your relatives who moved to boon from california, all of that is actually enabled in social technology and across social technologies today in a way that was not possible even five years ago. >> charlie: okay. what is your deposition definition of social
9:49 am
technologies? >> social technologies are any technologies that allow you to connect with people in way that you want to connect with them. >> is there any danger that we are going to be so connected to communicating through twices that all of the things that have made life so rich, human contact will be somehow lessened? >> i have seen people who didn't know that she shared the same desire or aspiration to be a writer meat each other and actually have better real world connections. real world events like meeting up in kansas city, because they met people who they didn't know they actually had something in common with who lived in their same town. i think there are more cases like that, where people feel like instead of passively and helplessly watching television
9:50 am
and watching an event, i also believe that people can take action in a way that wasn't possible five years ago. >> charlie: buzz and google, do they go too far? >> , you know, i haven't really spend a lot of time with buzz, but what i can say and what i do think is so interesting, that is relevant to buzz is that it is really challenging and really hard to try to shoe horn social action into something that already exists. namely, when you look at im's, and every large im provider has said at one point in the last five years, oh, well, im is social, im is a social techology so we will justadd it social to im. that hasn't really worked. and the reason it hasn't really worked is because people's expectations of what they are doing when they are iming is
9:51 am
different than their expectations when they are on twitter or when they are on facebook or when they are on ning connecting with other people that they don't know, but who share a common interest. or passion or desire for impact. so i think it is really interesting that this is something that may absolutely take off if people want to have social connections at the exact moment they are doing e-mail, that very well might be the case, i certainly, you know, don't have -- don't have all of the answers but i do think the other thing that is pretty interesting that we have seen is general -- the more general a social at th technology is, ther it is to actually drive adoption which is a bit counterintuitive, so. >> charlie: like the more general the social technology is, the more difficult it is to drive an adoption, meaning adopting that technology to some other function? >> well, that, and when it is so broad based people don't exactly
9:52 am
know why they should use it. so the power of facebook was that it actually expanded and grew originally college by college, or in ning's case, hook by hook, interest by passion, and it actually has been really interesting creating a gulf social network. >> charlie: golf? >> gulf, general, too big, creating, you know, gulf in the carolinas for breast cancer survivors. >> creating people who played augusta international. >> right. when there is that kind of hook and that kind of identity that is special, and that is something where people are hike, they can embrace it in a way that has this little piece of making them special. so, again i think it is really early days, but at least if you look at the example of im, it is really hard to sort of take a
9:53 am
broad-based genentech following and shoe horn social into it. >> charlie: tell me the five most interesting questions that you and your friends in the valley talk about in terms of where technology is going. >> the most interesting questions that i have the opportuny to spend time thinking about on my given day and what i think is so fun right now in terms of what is happening, at least amongst social technologies is we are at this really amazing moment in time where everybody feels pretty confident, pretty good about where they chose to focus and where they chose to invest three, four years ago. so as linked in really dives in to figure out how do they create the most compelling service for people in pursuit of their professional identity, and what does that look like? and what should we do in terms of new
9:54 am
features? and how does that actually marry brands with people fully realizing their professional potential and their professional network? or in the case of ning, how do we take at its very essence, two people who don't know each other, and yet who share the desire to organize for something that they are truly passionate about. and how do we break it down into things and actions that people can take and what we can measure and what we can optimize around that particular experience as being distinct and independent from what people want to do to realize their full potential from a professional identity perspective. and as everybody sort of gets more comfortable with the sort of the establishment past the early days and get more sophisticated with how you enable people to live richer lives on line, those are by par the most interesting conversations happening right now in palo alto over a sandwich
9:55 am
at the creamery. >> charlie: this is a cover story on you from may 2008, the ceo, this ceo has silicon valley buzzing, knows the secret power behind google, ebay and facebook and isn't afraid to use it here is your quote when your currency is ideas people become emotionally attached. there you go. thank you for coming. >> thank you for having me. >> charlie: it is great to see you. >> thank you. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org ♪
9:56 am
♪ if you've had a coke in the last 20 years, ( screams ) you've had a hand in giving college scholarships... and support to thousands of our nation's... most promising students. ♪ ( coca-cola 5-note mnemonic )
9:57 am
9:58 am
9:59 am